presented in association with PEN USA
Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All
$34 includes a signed book (shipping included)*
*Books ship week of August 3
A vital, necessary playbook for navigating and defending free speech today by the CEO of PEN America, Dare To Speak provides a pathway for promoting free expression while also cultivating a more inclusive public culture.
SUZANNE NOSSEL is the CEO of PEN America, the foremost organization working to protect and advance human rights, free expression and literature. As CEO, Nossel has led campaigns for free expression in Hong Kong and China, Myanmar, Russia, Eurasia, and the United States. Her career has spanned government service and leadership roles in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Nossel has also served as the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA; and held senior State Department positions in the Clinton and Obama administrations. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Nossel frequently writes op-eds for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications, as well as a regular column for Foreign Policy magazine.
JENNIFER EGAN is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her most recent novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize, and was recently named one of the best books of the decade by Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and several others. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine—most recently about pregnancy and childbirth among opioid-dependent women. She is President of PEN America.
“Should all speech be free? If not, who controls it? This brave, wise, succinct book is a must-read for writers, speakers, teachers, journalists, and, well, anyone who talks.” —Margaret Atwood
“In our censorious age of easy outrage, when it’s harder than ever to defend our right to express contentious ideas, Suzanne Nossel remains convinced that bigotry and intolerance can be fought without giving way on the principle of free speech, and makes her case eloquently, and—even better—usefully. An authoritative, essential book.” (Salman Rushdie, bestselling author of The Golden House and The Satanic Verses)
Online trolls and fascist chat groups. Controversies over campus lectures. Cancel culture versus censorship. The daily hazards and debates surrounding free speech dominate headlines and fuel social media storms. In an era where one tweet can launch—or end—your career, and where free speech is often invoked as a principle but rarely understood, learning to maneuver the fast-changing, treacherous landscape of public discourse has never been more urgent.
In Dare To Speak, Suzanne Nossel, a leading voice in support of free expression, delivers a vital, necessary guide to maintaining democratic debate that is open, free-wheeling but at the same time respectful of the rich diversity of backgrounds and opinions in a changing country. Centered on practical principles, Nossel’s primer equips readers with the tools needed to speak one’s mind in today’s diverse, digitized, and highly-divided society without resorting to curbs on free expression.
At a time when free speech is often pitted against other progressive axioms—namely diversity and equality—Dare To Speak presents a clear-eyed argument that the drive to create a more inclusive society need not, and must not, compromise robust protections for free speech. Nossel provides concrete guidance on how to reconcile these two sets of core values within universities, on social media, and in daily life. She advises readers how to:
- Use language conscientiously without self-censoring ideas;
- Defend the right to express unpopular views;
- And protest without silencing speech.
Nossel warns against the increasingly fashionable embrace of expanded government and corporate controls over speech, warning that such strictures can reinforce the marginalization of lesser-heard voices. She argues that creating an open market of ideas demands aggressive steps to remedy exclusion and ensure equal participation.
Replete with insightful arguments, colorful examples, and salient advice, Dare To Speak brings much-needed clarity and guidance to this pressing—and often misunderstood—debate.